Brother your sooooo right. Put the hammer down. Every second they're in the water.... odds of losing them increases. I for one believe in "breaking" the SPIRIT of the fish as soon as possible. You have to be the BULLY! Hurt them right away.... youll be glad you did.
I have had the.pleasure of fishing with many of our industries Founders / Greats.... one thing they ALL agree on.... use every thing to your advantage. And why not.... the fish is. So many other anglers around you.... some sleeping at the wheel..... some on their game.... it doesn't take much to cross over... "jerk".... GONE.
How many times have you .... and all the other passengers ....had to wait for "that" guy....you know the one.... had Big gear... a Big fish.... and 15 lbs of drag... the whole fight. He got bit by accident.... in a quick "puddler" ...that just kept on going. So.... for the couple of hours.... we've all been waiting.... while he tries to get his fish. Finally it happens. Not gaining any line. Frustration.... fatigue.... and "snap"!! Hammering the drag ...this late in the fight never pays. Do it early.
Advanced techniques allow a wise angler to "steer" is fish when necessary. That drag on your reel is for more than just stopping fish. Combined with the natural motion of the boat and proper rod leverage.... with proper timing... you can move fish away from "high" risk areas or individuals. Do what you have to do.... but put the HAMMER down.
Great post and picts.
Notice where the fish was hit first? Any experienced gaff or wire man knows as an article of holy writ that the first place a fish is hit with either a gaff or harpoon is forward of the pectorals, preferably the head. Control the head and you control the fish. Fish go where their head is pointed, especially tuna. They don't have a real tight turning radius.the first gaff went in the fish towards the rear when the second gaff went in a split second later the fish thrashed and broke the first gaff which kicked the second gaff free and dove again.
I disagree completely. You fought that fish hard and fast, and had him where he needed to be in a timely manner. That's exactly how it should work. I realize some of the above posts are according the crew the benefit of the doubt, but the fact is, they screwed the pooch. More specifically, the first gaffer screwed it, and the other deckhand was left to try and rescue the situation. While I don't fish sportboats, gaffing is universal. On my boat, the most experienced guy available always takes the first shot, especially on larger fish. Sometimes it's much more advantageous to let the fish come around again to ensure the first hit goes where it's supposed to than to take the first less than ideal opportunity. This is where an experienced guy on the first gaff really pays off. Watch closely how careful the long range deckhands are about first gaff placement on big yellowfin. They deal with large fish regularly and are very aware of what happens when it isn't right.So I guess more drag is not always better.